“There’s always sadness in our lives. It’s that sad feeling that keeps us going.”

— Tsukino Usagi


Hope Ain't Help

Monday, August 31, 2015

Jesse Torres’ portrait of New Orleans is harrowing and chilling. The film gives an honest foray into the brooding shadows of the forsaken side of town. It depicts a world ravished by nature and forgotten by people, shedding those still around as naked and hopeless. Hurricane Katrina, in the midst of its ten year anniversary, is not entirely resolved, and Hope Ain't Help paves way to its aborted rescue.


The atmospheric tone is articulated through a dawdling mosey through the city, borrowing the eyes of a nameless man (Zeus Campbell), backdropped by news reports of the state of the disaster. Shaken by glimpses of what used to be, the man revisits special memories in places that now rest empty, void of any promise of life. 


The recovery of New Orleans is incomplete. Its discussion and progression have fallen cold and silent. Hope Ain't Help is that glance, the flutter of hope that’s grown dim inside, the quivering of lips before apologetic tears gloss at the eyes, and the twisting of the heart that rings a reticent call for rescue.


Tremayne Johnson produced the film. His oversight keeps the film tight. The collaboration of Dexter Cohen and Jesse Torres is seamless. Campbell's performs with an exhaustion and weariness that's speechless. The absence of dialogue is a testament to how there's nothing to be said about the lack of help in New Orleans. The visuals are raw, gritty, and unfortunately, honest. 


Watch the film here:



What are your thoughts on New Orleans? Do you have a personal story to tell?
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Kyle V. Hiller is a freelance editor, published author. To inquire about his editing services, visit the services page. To read his work, check out The Recital and Project Anjou If you're just hanging out, subscribe to his newsletter below, where you'll get posts like this delivered straight to your inbox! Stalk Kyle on Twitter and Instagram, too.

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